Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Mixed supermarket reaction to new Easter trading law

Pak n' Save owner Foodstuffs has welcomed the new Easter trading law, but its main rival Progessive is not as happy with the change. Photo / Stephen Parker
Pak n' Save owner Foodstuffs has welcomed the new Easter trading law, but its main rival Progessive is not as happy with the change. Photo / Stephen Parker

Supermarket reaction to the Easter Sunday trading law has been mixed after the controversial legislation passed last week.

Foodstuffs New Zealand, which operates New World, Pak'n Save and Four Square, said it welcomed the law change allowing shops to trade on Easter Sunday, where permitted by local councils.

Head of external relations Antoinette Laird said Foodstuffs viewed the change as a good one.

"It has been our longstanding view that stores should have the choice to be able to serve their communities on Easter Sunday, and while we would have preferred national legislation allowing it, we are happy to work with the framework of local decision-making," Laird said.

"We expect not all our owner-operators will want to trade on Easter Sunday, and that is their choice. Likewise, those who do will be expected to strictly adhere to the new law's protections for staff who elect not to work that day."

Laird said the company was encouraging local councils to start consulting their communities about the law changes and where there was support, hoped it would be permitted.

The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill allowing councils to pass bylaws to allow trading on Easter Sunday passed its third and final reading by 62 to 59 personal votes last week amidst heated debate.

As a national retailer we advocate for regulations that foster a level playing field for competition and are applied consistently across the country.
Progressive spokesperson James Walker


While Foodstuffs openly welcomed the move, competitor Progressive Enterprises, which operates Countdown, was more reserved.

"As a national retailer we advocate for regulations that foster a level playing field for competition and are applied consistently across the country," said Progressive spokesperson James Walker.

"We are considering what this new law means for our business and whether Countdown stores will open, depending on local Council decisions. If we do open on Easter Sunday, Countdown teams will be given a genuine opportunity to decide whether they wish to work."

In its submission on the changes, Retail NZ supported trading on Easter Sunday, but said leaving the decision to councils could result in 67 local authorities having 67 sets of rules.

The lobby group was particularly concerned that councils would be able to make rules for all or part of their district.

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 27 Feb 2017 17:51:44 Processing Time: 422ms